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How to reduce stress and anger in ASD teen?

rubysilver · 10/06/2022 10:38

Does anyone have any ideas on how to reduce stress and anger in a teenager with ASD? DS is 13, diagnosed ASD at 4. He is currently at a specialist school, and has OT and SALT integrated into the curriculum (although it is within a group, not specifically tailored to him.)

By all accounts he gets on very well at school – he has a nice group of friends, gets on well with most of the pupils and teachers, works hard and does well academically.

However, as soon as he walks through the door at home, it’s a different story. He is irritable, angry and explosive. Even if he is not shouting, he seems very harsh with his speech. Any example I think of sounds minor, but over the weeks/months it takes its toll, eg if I go in his room to ask him something, he will bark “Can you get out” or if the dinner is a bit later than I said it would be, he storms around muttering. He sits at the table for meals but usually looks angry and flares up over the slightest thing. I feel we are all walking on eggshells around him.

I feel so stressed about it, to be honest he has been like this all his life, but it’s getting worse as he’s now a teenager. Added to which he barely wants to take part in any family activities and spends most of the time in his room.
He is very motivated, but almost drives himself obsessively. He has got into working out, which I think does help his stress levels, but he does it obsessively every day, even when he is unwell (I asked him not to, as his body needed to rest but he got angry and insisted he do it). He is very motivated to do well with school work, and got very good grades in his Year 9 exams, but he was so stressed around the exam period, I almost had a breakdown. He has now given himself a target of getting all 9s in his GCSEs and I feel so anxious at what the GCSE years will hold for us all at home.

DH and I let a lot of things go, but when he goes too far we tell him, and then he feels guilty and apologises, but then is back to normal an hour later. I have even thought should he go on anti depressants? As I mentioned, he works out every day, and also plays sport. I have tried to teach him meditation/mindfulness but he is not interested. He eats a healthy diet (again, almost to the point of obsession).

At home, he is free to set his own schedule, and I try very hard not to put any pressure on him. In the past, trying to be strict with him just does not work, as he cannot cope with it. He seems a bit better during the school holidays so I think a lot of it is the pressure of school.

Any advice would be gratefully received!

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jeaux90 · 18/06/2022 10:30

I have exactly this issue with DD13 lovely with everyone else but me.

I mean she CAN be nice to me and often is but I do get the full brunt.

What I have noticed is she needs a decompress time after school. Snack and drink. She needs a lot of sleep and is a lot better when she gets 8 or more hours.

Then it's a combo approach to her moods. Sometimes I just hug her (when she lets me) when it's full meltdown but if it's blatant rudeness or refusal is Wi-Fi turn off/removal of privilege.

She has the hyper focus too, often it can be about "fitting in" so I try and talk to her about being non conforming is ok and high light some of the ND people we know or are famous who didn't feel the need to conform.

I am not sure if any of the above is useful but I wanted to post out of solidarity more than anything.

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